Boxbot, the innovative vertical automation solution designed to streamline and store packages for last-mile carriers, has announced an impressive $12 million Series A funding round, with Playground Global leading the investment. Maersk Growth (the venture arm of A.P. Moller), Toyota Ventures, Pear Ventures, and Artiman Ventures also participated in this funding round, bringing Boxbot’s total funding to a substantial $29.5 million.
These funds will be utilized to accelerate Boxbot’s mission of enhancing last-mile carrier operations for more efficient and seamless delivery experiences while strengthening its engineering and business operations. Notably, Richard Peretz, Playground Global Venture Partner and former CFO at UPS, will join Boxbot’s board of directors.
Boxbot’s transformative technology modernizes conventional conveyor belt systems, infusing them with intelligent, three-dimensional package handling capabilities. This innovative platform excels in storing, sorting, and sequencing high-throughput payloads of varying sizes, all within a compact physical footprint. Its real-time adaptability optimizes storage density dynamically, ensuring minimal space wastage. Boxbot’s system is designed for versatility, making it a valuable addition to both new and existing facilities.
Last-mile delivery represents one of the most operationally complex and resource-intensive components of parcel logistics. Boxbot’s solution aims to significantly reduce the costs associated with last-mile delivery by automating warehouse processes. This automation unlocks a range of transformative applications, such as wave-based vehicle dispatch, real-time route density optimization, merge-in-transit strategies to reduce last-mile stops, consumer pick-up/drop-off solutions, and bonded storage.
Austin Oehlerking, Founder and CEO of Boxbot, explains the vision: “Carriers have expanded their network capacities aggressively during the hypergrowth phase of e-commerce preceding and throughout COVID. The next phase will be about using automation to enable volume growth through higher productivity, especially as the lasting impact of labor shortages and inflation are acutely felt.”
As global package volume continues to surge, efficiency becomes paramount. In 2021, more than 159 billion parcels were shipped, a 21% increase from 2020, with projections estimating 205 billion parcels in 2024. Consumers now demand higher service levels, often expecting free delivery, making core productivity enhancements essential.
According to a McKinsey report, over 90% of consumers consider 2-day or 3-day delivery the standard, and 30% anticipate same-day delivery. Interestingly, only 20% of consumers are willing to pay more for faster shipping when free delivery options exist.
The Boxbot team, armed with deep expertise in factory automation, robotics, and logistics, recognized that existing solutions fell short of addressing these fundamental challenges with a single product. Their innovative, modular system delivers substantial efficiency and performance enhancements to parcel logistics, enabling sustained volume growth in the years ahead.
Boxbot’s journey promises to revolutionize the efficiency of last-mile carrier operations, making it a company to watch in the rapidly evolving landscape of package delivery.